Beaumont Tashjian Law Blog

Friday, June 1, 2018

Employee or Independent Contractor? - How the Dynamex Decision May Impact Associations

The California Supreme Court issued a monumental decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court in late April of this year. The seminal ruling will make it more difficult for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors instead of employees. For managers and board members of associations, this could mean readdressing whether or not workers of associations should be considered employees instead of independent contractors. 

Dynamex is a nationwide delivery service that offers same day pickup and delivery services to the public and to large businesses. Prior to 2004, Dynamex classified its delivery drivers as employees of the company. After 2004 though, Dynamex made all delivery drivers independent contractors as a cost savings measure. An independent contractor that worked solely for Dynamex sued on his behalf and other similarly situated Dynamex delivery drivers on the basis that the drivers should be considered employees of Dynamex.


Read more . . .


Thursday, May 31, 2018

When the Law Collides with the Governing Documents: How the Board’s Duty to Enforce is Impacted by SB 407

By Lisa A. Tashjian, Esq. 

Fortunately for board members and management alike, community associations are given teeth in their often unavoidable conflicts with homeowners, via the governing documents. When a homeowner fails to submit an architectural request form before making structural changes to their residence, or when he or she is relentlessly committing a nuisance, the Board typically has the ability to impose discipline against the owner in the form of suspending his or her common area privileges, i.e., use of the community clubhouse. For example, common provisions in the CC&Rs provide:

  • “In the event of an architectural violation, the Board shall have the right to suspend the right to use Common Area Facilities;” or
  • “In the event of a breach of any provision of the Governing Documents, the right to use the Common Area Facilities may be temporarily suspended by the Association.”

Complicating matters for board members and management is Senate Bill 407, which, as of January 1, 2018, expands on Civil Code Section 4515, requiring associations to provide equal access to common areas for candidates and members for the purposes of advocating a point of view during an election. The bill protects certain free speech rights, such as meeting and canvassing, by allowing owners and residents of community associations to use common area facilities for meetings related to association issues, legislation, elections to public office, and public ballot measures, without being charged a fee.


Read more . . .


Monday, May 7, 2018

Abstention vs. Recusal: What’s the Difference?

By: Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq.

Our clients often ask us to provide guidance relative to the terms “abstention” and “recusal.”  In a nut-shell, abstention is “the withholding of a vote [by a director],” whereas recusal is the “[r]emoval of oneself as judge or policy-maker in a particular matter, especially because of a conflict of interest.” (Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004). Abstention generally focuses on the final decision, where recusal usually involves withdrawing from the entire proceeding.

Robert’s Rules of Order (i.e. parliamentary procedure) provides:

“[while] it is the duty of every member who has an opinion on a question to express it by his vote, he can abstain, since he cannot be compelled to vote. (Robert's Rules, 11th ed., p 407.) (Emphasis added.)


Read more . . .


Monday, April 9, 2018

The Tide of Short-Term Rental Policy: What Boards of Beach Communities Should Know

By: A.J. Jahanian, Esq.

Over the past few years, board members and management alike have had to deal with the challenges of the “sharing economy.” Sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have connected members of common interest developments to outside, non-member renters, in an unprecedented fashion, leading to the “commercialization” of residential communities. Boards and management are increasingly pressed with the issue of regulating short-term rentals and protecting their communities against excess use and nuisances, such as noise and increased traffic, associated with transient tenancy.

Complicating matters, the Court in Greenfield et al. v. Mandalay Shores Community Association has added another wrinkle that may limit a board’s ability to regulate short-term rentals/transient tenancy. In Greenfield, the plaintiffs owned a single-family home in the Mandalay Shores beach community, which they began renting to others for rental periods of less than thirty (30) days. Thereafter, the association adopted a resolution barring the rental of homes for less than 30 days, and any violations would result in significant fines. The plaintiffs then sued to enjoin (i.e., stop) the association’s proposed ban on short term rentals.


Read more . . .


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Senate Bill 407: Non-Commercial Solicitation and Right to Assemble In Common Area Meeting Places

By: Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq.

Myth. Our community doesn't have common area meeting space so we don't need rules addressing the new law [SB 407].

Fact. Adopting rules in light of the new law would address meetings in the common areas, such as lawns, community pool, etc., and door to door solicitation and canvasing ... so it really applies to every community! Creating rules would establish reasonable hours and days of the week when a member can solicit/canvas; and establish fines and penalties for violations; etc. among other things. Without rules and regulations communities are exposed to unbudgeted expenses and conflict.

This myth is a common response we have received in response to the new law. Now that the law has been effective for several months, let's revisit its purpose and details.

The California Legislature passed this bill with the intent to “ensure that members and residents of common interest developments have the ability to exercise their rights under law to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with one another and with others with respect to common interest development living or for social, political, or educational purposes.” (Civil Code Section 4515(a).)  The law has significant impact on all communities, with or without common area meeting spaces. 

Civil Code Section 4515 reads:

“(b) The governing documents, including bylaws and operating rules, shall not prohibit a member or resident of a common interest development from doing any of the following:

(1) Peacefully assembling or meeting with members, residents, and their invitees or guests during reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner for purposes relating to common interest development living, association elections, legislation, election to public office, or the initiative, referendum, or recall processes.

(2) Inviting public officials, candidates for public office, or representatives of homeowner organizations to meet with members, residents, and their invitees or guests and speak on matters of public interest


Read more . . .


Thursday, January 4, 2018

CAI National CCAL Law Seminar


Senior Partner, Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq., has been selected to speak at the CAI National 2018 CCAL Law Seminar on February 1st.  Mr. Beaumont will be presenting, “The New Normal: Transgender and Gender Variance in Community Associations.
Read more . . .


Thursday, January 4, 2018

CAI Channel Islands Chapter Casino Night & Chapter Awards Dinner


Senior Partner, Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq. and Partner, Lisa A Tashjian, Esq. have both been nominated for the Chapter’s Speaker of the Year Award.  Each received a nomination for their luncheon educational presentations.
Read more . . .


Thursday, January 4, 2018

CAI Greater Los Angeles Chapter Industry Excellence Awards Luncheon


Senior Partner, Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq. and Partner, Lisa A Tashjian, Esq. have both been nominated for an Industry Excellence Award. Each received a nomination for their luncheon educational presentations.
Read more . . .


Thursday, January 4, 2018

CACM Northern California Law Seminar & Expo


Senior Partner, Jeffrey A. Beaumont has been requested to speak at the 2018 CACM Northern California Law seminar & Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center on January 25th.  Mr. Beaumont will be co-presenting a legal update.  For more information and to register, visit:
Read more . . .


Monday, January 1, 2018

SB 407 (Wieckowski) Noncommercial Solicitation

SB 407 (Wieckowski) Noncommercial Solicitation.
Civil Code §4515
Effective January 1, 2018

SB 407 expanded on existing law which requires associations to provide equal access to common areas for candidates and members for the purpose of advocating a point of view during an election. This bill protects certain free speech rights, i.e., to meet, canvass, and distribute materials of a community association.


Read more . . .


Monday, January 1, 2018

AB 634 - Solar System Requirements

AB 634 (Eggman) Solar System Requirements.
Civil Code §714.1, §4600 & §4746
Effective January 1, 2018

Under AB 634, associations cannot establish a general policy prohibiting the installation or use of solar energy systems on the common area roof of the building where the owner resides, or a garage or carport assigned to the owner for exclusive use. Additionally, a vote of the membership is not required to grant exclusive use of common area for such purposes, and associations cannot require approval by a vote of the members as a condition to approval.


Read more . . .


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